Judge hopes prison time sets offender straight

Nashuan terminated from Drug Court can reapply after serving sentence

STaff photo by Dean Shalhoup Tabauhris Delrosario enters the courtroom for Monday's hearing on allegations he violated several terms of his probation, which prompted a Superior Court judge to send him to State Prison for roughly six months.

NASHUA – Expressing agreement with prosecutors, a probation officer and members of Nashua’s Adult Drug Court team that Tabauhris Delrosario must improve his behavior and get on the right track before they resume trying to help him, a Superior Court judge this week sent the 22-year-old Nashua man to state prison for at least six months.

“This is a journey you need to commit to. You need to want it, and that hasn’t happened yet,” Judge Jacalyn Colburn told Delrosario, referring to the drug-treatment path she hopes he embarks on once he’s released from prison.

“The state’s position is that hopefully (prison time) puts the defendant in a position where he’d be amenable to … getting the treatment he needs,” added Assistant County Attorney Kathleen Brown, the prosecutor who is also a member of the Adult Drug Court team.

The team had recommended Delrosario be terminated from Drug Court “because of his behavior. We don’t feel we can work with him at this point, but we want him to succeed,” Brown said. “It’s not our goal to just punish him. We want to give him the opportunity to succeed.”

Delrosario, represented by Attorney Marc Gouthro at what was initially scheduled as a status conference, instead chose to enter pleas of true to violating five rules of his probation in exchange for the prison term.

Colburn imposed the prosecution’s recommended term of 3-6 years in State Prison, with 1 1/2 years suspended on the condition Delrosario re-apply and be accepted to Drug Court.

He was also given credit for the 182 days he spent in jail, bringing his minimum sentence to roughly six months.

As Colburn was reading the sentencing orders, a woman identified as Delrosario’s mother suddenly interrupted the proceedings, calling out, “why are you doing this to him?”

Colburn, who has reportedly encountered outbursts from the woman at previous hearings involving her son, promptly ordered her out of the courtroom.

As court officers escorted the sobbing woman toward the door, she paused briefly and turned toward Delrosario. “I love you … you don’t deserve this,” she blurted, to which Delrosario responded, “I love you too … I’m sorry.”

According to Brown, the probation violations to which Delrosario pleaded true occurred in August 2017 and in February. The violations include “introducing” illegal drugs into a treatment program; using illegal drugs and overdosing on at least one occasion; failure to participate in Drug Court as ordered; becoming “hostile” and “creating an unsafe” situation during sessions; threatening to “take off” from a program; failing to notify probation officials of his whereabouts; and failing to obtain permission to change his address,” according to Brown and Nashua police probation and parole officer Nelly Chancey, who also attended the hearing.

Chancey echoed Brown’s comments regarding Delrosario’s recent history, telling Colburn that she has “serious concerns” over his behavior.

“He’s been aggressive, hostile toward others,” Chancey said, referring to other participants in treatment programs, and noting that in one instance “he broke a door.”

“In my opinion, we’ve tried multiple times with Tabauhris,” she added.

Coupled with his “dishonesty about his substance abuse” and his alleged history of walking out of treatment programs against the rules of his probation, Chancey said she supports the sentence Brown recommended.

Gouthro, Delrosario’s attorney, asked for a 1-6 year prison sentence for his client, telling Colburn that Delrosario “knows he’s been given an opportunity here.”

The fact that Delrosario agreed to the plea deal knowing it involved prison time is a strong indicator that he is now amenable to receiving treatment and improving his behavior, Gouthro said.

Delrosario spoke briefly, apologizing “for what I’ve done. If you’re going to terminate me from Drug Court … I’m sorry,” he said.

But Colburn said in response that unless Delrosario commits a major offense while in prison, he will be eligible to re-apply to Drug Court upon his release, and will very likely be accepted.

“I think you’re a smart man, very capable,” she told Delrosario. “But you’re using it in destructive ways. I don’t like sending people, particularly young people, to prison, but so far you haven’t been amenable to treatment.”

Colburn encouraged Delrosario “to come back to us” upon his release, referring to Drug Court. “But if you do, things are going to have to be a lot different,” she added.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.